Make Fruit Leather at Home Without a Dehydrator
The technique of drying fruit into pliable sheets of “fruit leather” is a classic way to preserve fruit but I guess it came to my attention when my daughter was young in the mid-90s and I saw the individual snacks being sold at our local co-op and health food store. Some folks were into dehydrators and since I wasn’t purchasing one, I didn’t think much of it and continued to buy my fruit leather when the impulse struck. Drying it with a low oven is just as easy and Katie Caldesi does a great job of describing the process in her new book, The Gentle Art of Preserving (read our review). Take a look at the image! The colors are vibrant and so are the flavors. For the mango I like to use the Ataulfo mangoes as they are less fibrous. Use ripe fruit and you will have great results.We have also showcased her recipes for Marrons Glacés and Low-Sugar Jam.
Excerpted with permission from The Gentle Art of Preserving: Pickling, Smoking, Freezing, Drying, Curing, Fermenting, Bottling, Canning, and Making Jams, Jellies and CordialsBy Katie Caldesi. Kyle Books, 2014. Photography by Chris Terry
- 1 large mango
- 2 bananas
- 7 oz raspberries
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 4 apples
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Cut the fruit with or without the peel into chunks and puree in a food processor or blender. Pour the purée onto silicone mats or plastic wrap-lined sheets. Make sure the pool of purée doesn’t go over the edge of the sheets; smooth out by shaking and tilting the sheet to make it spread out. The purée should be no thicker than ¼in.
- Dry in the dehydrator at 135°F for 4 to 6 hours, or in the oven at 140°F for 6 to 8 hours. Fruit leathers are ready when they are not sticky to the touch, but can be peeled easily from the mat or plastic wrap. Lift the edge, which will adhere lightly to the surface, and peel it back. If it peels back easily, it is ready.
- For Storing: Either eat immediately or cover the dried leather in a layer of parchment paper and roll up, or cut into 2in wide strips and roll up. Store in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place for up to 6 weeks, but do check regularly for any signs of mold. Alternatively pack into vacuum bags and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.